Petrol, hybrid, or diesel? Pick your hot hatch poison.
The Geneva International Motor Show is days away, and it's going to be a big one for Volkswagen. Not only will the eighth generation of the Golf GTI be officially unveiled, but the iconic hatchback will be joined by the GTE (hybrid) and the GTD (turbodiesel), too. Sadly, these offshoots of the GTI won't be making it stateside, but they do provide an intriguing look into the alternative ways that the brand is generating potent performance from its hatch.
Like the GTI that we got to see in all its glory this week, the GTE and GTD are sportier versions of the regular Golf. They all have exterior adornments like LED headlights and a colored line running along the bottom of the hood: red for the GTI, blue on the more efficient GTE, and silver on the GTD.
Starting with the GTE, it features a plug-in hybrid powertrain with a 1.4-liter turbocharged engine and an electric motor. Total system output, coincidentally, is 245 PS (242 horsepower) - exactly the same as that of the GTI. A six-speed DSG gearbox is fitted, and there's a useful 295 lb-ft of torque to play with. According to VW, this model can manage an electric-only range of 37 miles.
In E-Mode (using only the electric motor), the GTE can reach a top speed of 81 mph. As with the exterior, the GTE has interior detailing in blue to set it apart from the GTI and the GTE. Like those variants, this model gets access to the 10.25-inch digital cockpit and the crystal clear 10-inch navigation system.
The GTD uses a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine that generates 197 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque - the latter figure is the same as that of the GTE's. A seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox is fitted and, like the GTI, this model has a sport suspension lowered by 0.6 inches over the standard Golfs. Like the GTI and GTE, the GTD's rear lettering is positioned directly below the VW emblem.
Although VW hasn't released performance figures for the GTD and GTE just yet, we expect them to provide strong performance while perhaps not being as quick as the GTI. They'll be efficient, though. Most of all, there are now three distinct power sources near the top of the Golf range (below the upcoming Golf R), and we can only hold thumbs that the GTE and GTD make it here sometime in the future.